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  Age on Sunday   18 Jun 2017  Capturing cultures

Capturing cultures

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIVEDA MANOHAR
Published : Jun 18, 2017, 12:40 am IST
Updated : Jun 18, 2017, 12:40 am IST

Varun Suresh explores the sights and sounds of different cultures, armed with nothing but a camera as he goes off the grid during his travels.

Vantage point
 Vantage point

Like every other middle class household, Varun Suresh’s family did not let him touch the camera as ‘it was not a toy to play with’. So the youngster’s first tryst with photography happened through a first-generation camera mobile phone, which took pictures in the size of a thumbnail. The passion for capturing faces and memories grew while clicking photos of his friends and weddings of people he knew. All this resulted in him doing a degree in photography at London — and in that one year away from India, Varun realised that the scene in India had completely changed.

Stepping stonesStepping stones

 

Multiple exitsMultiple exits

It’s been a great six years since then for the shutterbug, who is now a well-known wedding photographer, and indulges in some fantastic travel escapades whenever he has time. Though he’s been on several memorable trips around India and overseas, a recent one that Varun is excited about is a movie-inspired European odyssey. “I strongly believe that travel is the best investment one can make. So I make it a point to make sure I take some time off work to travel. That was how my Europe trip happened. Europe felt like a big deal, because we still think of it as a luxury,” Varun says.

Holy skyscraperHoly skyscraper

 O Captain! My Captain!O Captain! My Captain!

 

Varun made the brave decision of going off-grid throughout his travels — ensuring he didn’t carry a phone, use physical maps, or ask locals for directions/suggestions. “I did not have a plan — I just went towards the city, started walking, and if I saw anything interesting, walked in that direction. It was the experience of a lifetime.”

A girl with a green view A girl with a green view

Propinquity in the desert Propinquity in the desert

On his many trips, Varun tussled with a common dilemma — be a photographer or a tourist? “I had to tell myself that it was alright if I didn’t get a good photo but at the end of the day, when I look at some of the photos which weren’t great, I remind myself that the trip was worthwhile.”

 

Static and fluid Static and fluid

He concludes by saying that making a trip alone is the best way to experience some true-blue wanderlust. “Travelling solo means getting to interact with our surroundings a lot more than you would with company. Moreover, you are free to do whatever you want!”

Tags: camera, photography